In shift of stance, US hints at engaging in Indo-Pak dispute to de-escalate tensions
In signs that the US President Donald Trump may play a role in de-escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, the United States has said that it would try and "find its place" in efforts to de-escalate tensions and not wait till "something happens".
The move signals a marked change in the stance adopted by the previous US administration under President Barack Obama, which had maintained all along that the Indo-Pak dispute was a bilateral issue and that it was for the two countries to determine the pace, scope and character of talks.
India has maintained it is against any interference or third party mediation, including by the UN or the US, in talks with Pakistan. Pakistan, on the other hand, wants to have interlocutors from both the world body as well as from Washington to resolve the Kashmir issue.
"It's absolutely right that this administration is concerned about the relationship between India and Pakistan and very much wants to see how we de-escalate any sort of conflict going forward," US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told reporters, signalling an apparent change in the US stance of not engaging in Indo-Pak disputes.
Haley, a senior Indian-American member of the Trump Cabinet, said she expects that the administration is going to be in talks and try and "find its place to be a part of that (de-escalating tensions)".
"We don't think, we should wait till something happens," she said while addressing a press conference after assuming the role of President of the Security Council for the month of April. She made the remarks when asked if the US can make any efforts to get India and Pakistan together for peace talks as tensions between the two neighbouring countries have risen.
"We very much think that we should be proactive in the way that we are seeing tensions rise and conflicts start to bubble up and so we want to see if we can be a part of that," Ms Haley said. "So I think that will be something that you will see members of the National Security Council participate in, but also wouldn't be surprised if the President participates in that as well," she said.
The remarks are the first time that Haley, as a member of the Trump Cabinet, has addressed tensions between India and Pakistan.